The Quality of Information in Product Reviews Trumps Social Media

Social VS Reviews
It happens at least weekly for most Americans: the social media post. Over half of us are on two or more social networks, and we’re using them a lot (Pew). But what’s the value of this stream of consciousness for brands? Channel Signal has historically been on the cutting edge of pushing brands to get insights from social. Well folks, we’ve had a shift around here. We have been enlightened about the power of product reviews, and we can’t wait to share it with the world. So much so that we’ll soon be ditching our former love completely. 

If you’ve been in our shoes for as long as we have, the first thing you’ll note when you pivot from the social world to that of online product reviews is the quality of the posts. My, oh my, are the social posts full of junk:

  • slang
  • sarcasm
  • acronyms
  • poor sentence structure
  • double negatives
  • emoticons

All things which make analysis, quantification and gleaning actionable information (for humans or artificial intelligence), very difficult.

If Social Posts are Fifty Shades of Grey, Product Reviews are Gone with the Wind.

Fast. Short. String of random thoughts. These are all words that describe the typical social media post. True, many tweets and posts are clever; however, the vast majority are not. Often those that do contain an opinion are often meaningless to a brand (e.g. “want this as a gift”, or “Red Bull rocks”.) You look at most product reviews on the other hand, and you’ll see the world’s aspiring novelists being revealed on your screen.
For many reasons, people put much more thought into product reviews than they do into anything they’ve ever written on Twitter or Facebook. For one, they know they’re going to be read and that they’ll be influencing hundreds and thousands of people’s purchasing decisions. They genuinely want to convey their experience with the product in an easy to follow, decipherable manner.
See what CEO Paul Kirwin has to say on the subject of Product Review Quality in this week’s Whiteboard Video.